Though the name ‘nut’ is attached to it, tigernut is not a nut, but a tuber. It is a type of tuber that grows popularly in the Western hemisphere, Southern Europe, Africa, Madagascar, Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East. In recent times, more attention is turning to this tuber that has existed for over 4000 years due to its health benefits.
Tigernut is rich in fibre, which aids bowel movement and helps to keep the digestive system in shape. The fibre also helps to keep the individual fuller, thereby aiding weight loss. Then, it combats hypertension and some inflammatory diseases. It is also rich in vitamins E and C. The oil in Tigernut has qualities similar to olive oil; so, it is heart friendly. In fact, there are so many more health benefits of this amazing tuber.
In Nigeria, this amazing produce is popularly referred to as Aya or Ofio, and is a very popular sight with Hausa traders, who hawk it in their wheelbarrow, everywhere you turn. It is relatively cheap and available all year long.
Tigernut is quite healthy! So, we recommend you include it in your diet. For starters, try out this tiger nut drink recipe, popularly known as Kunu Aya.
- 3 Cups of dry or fresh Tigernut (Aya)
- 2 Cups of dry dates
- 1 Whole medium sized coconut
- Wash your Tigernut very well until you are sure it is clean and dirt free (Some soak their dry Tigernut over night for it to rehydrate and swell a little. You can choose to do the same or just use the dry one as it is. It does not affect the end result.)
- Wash and remove the seed in the dates.
- Break and carve out the flesh of your coconut and cut them up into small chunks.
- Wash and skin your ginger.
- Put everything into your blender, adding a little water for easy blending, and blend to a smooth pulp.
- Strain into a bowl, preferably using a muslin cloth.
- Put the chaff back into the blender, add a little water and blend again.
- Repeat step 6 till you have the juice completely drained out
- Refrigerate and serve.